PHILADELPHIA (July 20, 2016) – Four years after the launch of the StartupPHL initiative, The City of Philadelphia, PIDC, and StartupPHL Fund management partner Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital made a series of StartupPHL announcements taking stock of the goals achieved to date and looking ahead to the future. Attaining many of the set objectives, the initiative has increased startup capital in Philadelphia, catalyzed investment, and increased visibility of and activity in the local startup ecosystem.
“StartupPHL was designed to accelerate the development of a supportive environment for local entrepreneurs,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “The City is proud of the success this initiative has achieved to date and committed to its goal to continue to establish Philadelphia as a city of choice for new startups and entrepreneurs.”
A collaborative effort, StartupPHL aims to support entrepreneurs in the city who bring energy, ideas and vitality to Philadelphia as well as further enable the existing entrepreneurial talent that resides in the city’s different neighborhoods to flourish. The StartupPHL initiative encompasses a range of programs including the Call for Ideas grants, StartupPHL Seed + Angel Fund, and several measures to enhance visibility and connectivity of the startup community.
The StartupPHL Seed + Angel Fund is a venture fund, launched with an initial investment by PIDC leveraging additional funding and management from First Round Capital and co-founder Josh Kopelman, which makes investments in Philadelphia-based tech startups. Today, PIDC announced that the fund made a $100,000 investment in Termaxia, LLC, a big data storage solution that hopes to disrupt the market in significant way.
“Philadelphia is home to an increasing number of innovative startup companies like Termaxia, who are choosing to start and grow their business here,” said Josh Kopelman, Managing Partner at First Round Capital. “The startup community in Philadelphia is an ideal place for entrepreneurs to grow their companies and develop their talent.”
Termaxia was founded by renowned innovators in the tech industry in Philadelphia. CEO Dr. Changbin Liu, has extensive industry experience at AT&T and as an Openstack core developer. Fellow co-founder and Chief Scientist, Boon Thau Loo, is an award-winning professor in the Computer and Information Science (CIS) department at the University of Pennsylvania.
“We are thrilled with the Angel Fund investment we received through the StartupPHL initiative,” said Dr. Liu. “Termaxia is developing a big data storage solution and the support of StartupPHL was critical in helping us get started.”
The announcement marks the final investment from the initial StartupPHL Seed + Angel Fund as the three year initial term has been reached. Over the last three years, the fund has invested about $1.1M of PIDC’s capital in 10 Philadelphia startups – which was matched by over $5 million from First Round Capital and Josh Kopelman. The 10 StartupPHL portfolio companies employ more than 100 people and have raised over $36 million in total venture capital to date. Pleased with the results of what is being called ‘Fund I,’ PIDC is looking to continue the momentum into the future.
“Following the success of Fund I, which has increased access to early stage capital in Philadelphia, we are excited about the opportunities for the next iteration of the StartupPHL Fund,” said John Grady, President and CEO of PIDC. “We want to continue to invest as early as possible to support leverage, growth and returns as well as increase capital available.”
PIDC announced today the release of a Request For Proposals (RFP) for fund management and investment services for StartupPHL Fund II. PIDC is seeking an experienced investment organization with a clear vision for cultivating a thriving startup economy in Philadelphia and the demonstrated capacity to market, co-invest in, and manage Fund II. The RFP can be downloaded from the PIDC website at PIDCphila.com/tools/contract-opportunities. Responses are due on August 31, 2016.
The City of Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce has also announced plans for the fifth round of Call for Ideas grants. Further details on the latest Call for Ideas grants, including the focus, will be released in August. The Call for Ideas is a City funded grant program to support innovative, exciting proposals for ideas and programs that support startups and entrepreneurs of all stripes in Philadelphia. Past recipients have included Coded by Kids, Techgirlz, and Philly Startup Leaders.
“As we prepare for the launch of Fund II, the City looks forward to continuing our support of the StartupPHL platform and its many programs,” said Commerce Director Harold T. Epps. “One of the other key resources provided by StartupPHL is the Call for Ideas grants, which help to seed the next generation of entrepreneurs throughout our city. We are excited to welcome the next batch of applicants and to continue fostering a network of support for Philadelphia’s entrepreneurs.”
As part of its ongoing growth, StartupPHL launched a new website earlier this year, www.startupphl.com, to provide entrepreneurs with information about funding and the ability to submit ideas. It also participated in South by Southwest® (SXSW), the premier trade show and conference that serves as a launch pad for emerging technologies and innovative content, and launched the Amplify Philly branding campaign. Officially branded as “StartupPHL Presents Amplify Philly SXSW Edition,” the campaign builds on the city’s existing efforts to attract global investment and accelerate the growth of the Philadelphia startup community.